City of Clearwater cracking down on run-down homes

Here's how to get your neighborhood cleaned up

After multiple complaints, The City of Clearwater will crack down on crumbling homes.

Wednesday, the city's code compliance division swept neighborhoods within N Duncan Avenue, Airport Drive, Drew Street and N Keene Road and N Duncan Avenue and Drew St. They wrote more than 100 warnings for yard overgrowth, poorly maintained fences, trash, inoperable vehicles, cars parked on the grass, vehicles with no tags or expired tags, trailers parked illegally and mold and exterior building issues.

City code enforcement leaders say they've fined some property owners over and over. Soon, city leaders could foreclose on homes with huge code enforcement liens, if the home has low or no mortgages. This crackdown also applies to commercial properties. More than 140 properties racked up $18.6 million in liens.

The city is giving homeowners an opportunity to clean up. The warnings given Wednesday give homeowners time to fix the violations. 

ABC Action News found out the time it takes to get properties picked up, could depend on your zip code. In unincorporated Pinellas County, code enforcement haven’t organized a neighborhood sweep in years. 

We called around and found out several cities will do neighborhood code sweeps, however, Pinellas and Hillsborough County, more often rely on tips from you or violations they spot firsthand to get involved. Sometimes that can take months to get the problems fixed.

The best way to get problem properties near you cleaned up: Grab a camera, carefully document the problems and email your local code enforcement…then, stay on top of it.

For more information on Clearwater's code enforcement program, contact the city's Code Compliance Division at (727) 562-4720. For information in Spanish, call (727) 562-4664.

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